Three-piece alternative rock band Esben and the Witch brought their post-rock darkwave sound to Bristol on Monday night at The Exchange, on the second date of their current tour, announcing: we’re happy to be back in the UK and in Bristol, this is one of our favourite places to play and we love The Exchange so thank you for having us.”

First to kick the night off was local band Sugar Horse. This gave the crowd a respectable warm up, with a mix of some upbeat indie rock and hallucinogenic-style songs. The second support also came from a local Bristol-based band, Age Decay, who added a stronger rock ambiance to the scene.

As Esben and the Witch took to the stage the anticipation of the gradual drumbeat was quick to draw the attention from the crowd. With a varied age range, there were head bobs and swaying from almost everyone across the solid packed venue.

An enthusing and unexpected part throughout the night was when the band decided to play a brand-new song: “this is only about our fourth time performing this song. We hope you enjoy.” The crowd responded extremely well to this new track and soon began dancing along, and some noticeable fans looked as if they were already familiar with a few of the lyrics as they sang back some of the words.

‘No Dog’ is played afterwards, which was one of the songs that stood out the most as it took the room by storm, and it soon becomes apparent that this is one of the crowd’s favourites from the set as all you could hear was a surge of cheers from the minute the song starts.

The last track of the night was ‘The Jungle’, a 15-minute track, and unsurprisingly devoted fans stayed till the very end. Lead singer, Rachel Davies gave effortlessly flawless vocals throughout the performance. The guitar riffs from Thomas Fisher was reminiscent at times of sounds similar to The XX. An experience of innovative, gothic atmosphere and swirling synths; this is definitely a band worth seeing live.

About The Author

Rianna Hale

Media and Journalism student based in Bristol. Always looking for new music to discover and particularly enjoy indie rock music.